Katie walked by the river next to her house and discovered a paper sailboat with a seemingly urgent message, so she ran to her mother, and together they walked down the river only to find the astonishing person who made the boat.
At three, Katie knew how to be careful while walking next to the river, and her mom, Lucinda, was sitting on the back porch chairs, keeping an eye on her daughter while trying to teach her how to give her independence.
Lucinda believed children needed to start being independent early on, and Katie was already learning so much about the world for herself. But you always have to be more careful around rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water.
Katie found a paper sailboat on the river bank and ran to her mother after reading the message. | Source: Pexels
Luckily, Katie was brilliant, so Lucinda frowned and rose from her porch seat when the little girl started running toward her.
Katie pulled on her hand with a smile. "Mommy, we made it. We're going to help!"
"Mom! Mommy!" Katie yelled, and her mother noticed something strange in her hands.
"What's wrong, Katie? What's that? You know what I told you about grabbing strange objects," Lucinda gently reminded her. The little girl handed her mother what she had discovered.
"Mommy! I found this at the river!" the little girl exclaimed, raising what appeared to be a paper boat, and Lucinda took it from her.
Lucinda grabbed the paper boat and inspected it for any dirtiness. To her shock, the words "Help Us" were clear as day on the paper, but she had no idea if this was a joke or an actual call for help.
They walked along the river to see if they could find whoever sent the boat. | Source: Pexels
She thought about calling 911, but what would she tell them? Yet her conscience wouldn't allow her to forget about the message. She had been in situations in her past where there was no way to ask for help. If someone needed help, she was going to do something. So she grabbed her phone from the porch seat, held Katie's hand, and took her back to the river where she found the paper boat.
She made Katie explain exactly where she found the boat and decided to walk along the river, trying to find whoever had sent the message. Katie was excited throughout the walk, although Lucinda started to worry after over ten minutes of walking.
"Mommy, are we close?"
"I don't know, sweetie. If we don't find anything or anyone soon, we'll turn back," she responded with a reassuring voice.
They saw other houses and even some farms, but no one was around. At last, they reached one small farm, and to their surprise, a boy who couldn't be much older than Katie was sitting by the river.
Finally, they saw a boy sitting by the river. | Source: Pexels
He saw them and noticed the paper boat in Lucinda's hand, which made him rise and run towards them. "You got my boat! You're here to help!"
Katie pulled on her hand with a smile. "Mommy, we made it! We found him!"
Lucinda nodded at her daughter and the boy. But her face turned to confusion. "What's going on, kid? What help do you need? I brought my phone so that we can call someone," she stated, inclining her body a bit to look closely at the kid, who didn't seem to be in danger.
"Come with me!" he said and started running deeper into the farm, which was vast and spacious with tons of planted crops all around it. She had never seen it before though it was so close to her house.
They followed the boy and discovered an older woman working the field with a wooden pickaxe. She was sweating from the heat but smiled as the boy got closer.
"Grandma! I found some help!" he told her, pointing back at Lucinda and Katie, who approached much slower.
"What are you talking about, Walter?" the older woman asked quizzically.
The boy led them to an older woman who was working the field. | Source: Pexels
"You need help, and I found it!" Walter said, smiling and jumping around his grandmother, who was still confused.
Lucinda decided to clarify a bit. "My daughter found this paper boat with a message asking for help. We live about 20 minutes south by foot. Is there anything going on?"
The older woman opened her mouth and closed it, side-eyeing her grandson. Then she spoke up, shaking her head. "I don't know what Walter is talking about. Nothing's going on," she replied.
"Grandma! We do need help! I heard you last night. You were talking on the phone and said you were getting too old to work on the field and wished you had more help. So I went to the river and wrote a message on a paper boat asking for help!" Walter explained, making the older women laugh at last.
"Oh my god, Walter! You probably scared this woman thinking there was a real emergency in the area!" his grandmother laughed and later apologized to Lucinda.
Lucinda could only laugh about the situation, as there was no danger or emergency. | Source: Pexels
"Honestly, I didn't know what we would find when I decided to search for whoever sent the paper boat, but this is hilarious and better than anything I expected," Lucinda chimed in with a big smile.
Soon, Katie and Walter were playing around the field while Lucinda talked to Walter's grandmother. She was a wonderful woman named Isabelle, whose husband had died a year ago. At her age, working on the farm was getting harder, and she didn't realize that Walter was listening.
"Walter's parents leave him with me every summer, but this year has been harder than ever. I'm not young anymore, you know? My husband did the majority of this, and our sons helped as teenagers until they left for college," Isabelle explained calmly to Lucinda, who nodded in understanding.
"I can understand. This is a big area to maintain," she said and grinned at the sounds of Katie and Walter playing around the field.
"I'm actually thinking of selling it soon, and my sons agree. So I might just be moving a bit south soon," the older woman revealed.
"Well, why don't you write down my phone number. If there's anything you need, you can call me. I know of a few properties for sale near my house. I can give you some contacts too," Lucinda offered, which Isabelle appreciated.
She even helped Isabelle on the farm before the older woman finally sold it.| Source: Pexels
Lucinda and Katie said goodbye and started walking back to their house, promising to return in a few days so the kids could play some more and the women could talk.
They visited the farm every other day for the next few months and became good friends with that family. Lucinda started helping Isabelle during her visits, so the older woman gifted her a basket of produce from her farm when harvesting season arrived.
About a year later, Isabelle finally sold her farm and moved a couple of houses away from Lucinda and Katie. Despite their age difference, the women became good friends, and Katie and Walter loved playing together by the river.
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